Cold Case Files

Jane Doe (1973W3059)

Does this person look familiar to you? WCSO is hoping someone has information on her identity

Facial Reconstruction of Jane Doe 1973

Unidentified remains of a female were discovered on Nov. 19, 1973, north of the Highway 66 bridge over the St. Vrain River, four miles west of Platteville, CO. The woman had been dead for several months and was between 23 and 25 years-old and approximately 5 feet 2 inches tall. She was wearing red short-sleeved sweater and brown slacks when she was found.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) completed a facial reconstruction of the woman showing what she may have looked like in 1973. She has never been identified. Forensic genetic genealogy is being done in hopes of identifying her.  

 

 

Marjorie Sue Fithian (1975W2011)

Extensive investigation over nearly five decades into Marjorie Fithian's murder yield no clues for WCSO detectives

Photo of Marjorie Fithian and her son On June 24, 1975, Marjorie Sue Fithian and her 18-month-old son, Dylan Sage Fithian, were supposed to return from a family visit in Denver to their home in Greeley, Colorado. They never boarded their bus back to Greeley. Instead, Marjorie was found dead later that morning on a desolate gravel road about 50 miles from Denver, with a gunshot wound to her head. Her young son, uninjured, but sitting amidst broken glass, was found clutching her hand by ranch hand Terry Furnish, who quickly called for help. Despite extensive investigation over nearly five decades, no leads have conclusively explained her murder, and theories have ranged from serial killers to drug conspiracies, but none have been substantiated.

Theories about Marjorie's death initially involved drug trafficking, as she had a history of marijuana use, and a local drug dealer falsely claimed involvement, only to retract his statement later. Investigators also considered the possibility of her hitchhiking or being targeted by an unknown assailant, but these leads were also unproductive. Her son, now 50, has no memories of the incident and has only learned about his mother through family stories. Despite the persistent efforts of investigators, the case remains a tragic mystery.

 

 

 

Evelyn Kay Day (1979W7062) ARREST MADE

Kay Day 1979On March 2021 the Weld County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of a Wichita man for the 1979 murder of Evans resident, Evelyn Kay Day.

James Herman Dye, 64, is charged in Weld District Court with one count of murder in the first degree. He was arrested Monday by Weld County Sheriff’s Office detectives at his Wichita home with the assistance of the Wichita Police Department and the FBI.

Kay Day was 29 years old when she went missing in late November 1979. She was a business lab monitor working nights at Aims Community College, 5401 W. 20th St. in Greeley. She was last seen by a student about 10 p.m. Nov. 26, 1979, as Day was locking up the lab for the night.

The next morning, Day’s husband, Stanley Charles “Chuck” Day, realized his wife never returned home from work. He filed a missing person report with the Evans Police Department and informed Day’s colleagues at Aims that she was missing.

About 5:30 p.m. that day, Nov. 27, 1979, two of Day’s coworkers located her red 1977 Datsun station wagon parked on the eastbound shoulder in the 5700 block of West 20th Street. The two coworkers parked behind Day’s vehicle and found her body inside. One of the coworkers ran to the nearby Family Sports Center, 5701 W. 20th St., and called 911.James Herman Dye

The subsequent investigation revealed Day had been beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled to death with the cloth belt of her own overcoat. Investigators at the time were able to secure several pieces of evidence, including the killer’s DNA.

Weld County Sheriff’s Office Det. Byron Kastilahn was assigned as the agency’s cold case investigator. Kastilahn’s transition marked the first time in the agency’s history the Investigation’s Unit had a dedicated cold case detective.

Kastilahn identified 10 priority cases for immediate investigation, including Day’s unsolved homicide. On May 1, 2020, Kastilahn was reviewing the case and noticed that during Day’s autopsy the coroner did a sex assault examination and found seminal fluid. Further examination showed the seminal fluid had motile sperm. Kastilahn noted that Day’s husband had a vasectomy, therefore, the seminal fluid was likely from the suspect. Kastilahn contacted the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and asked to have the DNA extracted from the seminal fluid millions and compared to profiles in the national Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS. On Aug. 26, 2020, Kastilahn received a report stating the DNA evidence collected more than 40 years ago matched a profile belonging to James Herman Dye, a convicted felon with lengthy criminal histories in Colorado and Kansas.

During the following months, Kastilahn dedicated his time to reviewing old case notes and reinterviewing family members and other persons of interest in the case. Kastilahn submitted an order to Aims Community College to produce certain records. He learned Dye, who would have been in his early 20s at the time, was a student enrolled in automotive classes in the summer and fall of 1979, the winter of 1980 and the summer of 1982.

James Herman Dye Of note, Dye was enrolled in a steering and suspension system class in the fall of 1979. The class was taught in the Trades and Industry building, which was directly north of the Business building where Day worked.

Dye’s criminal history in Colorado includes an arrest on Oct. 5, 1977, by the Weld County Sheriff’s Office for second-degree sexual assault, a Feb. 5, 1981, arrest for sexual assault on a child, an attempted sexual assault on May 7, 1981, a third-degree assault arrest in 1982 and another sexual assault on a child arrest on March 30, 1987. Similar modus operandi exists between the Day case in 1979 and the second-degree sexual assault case from Oct. 5, 1977. Dye is currently incarcerated.

 

 

Yvonne Rabb (1981W8746)

Clues needed in the death of Denver mother, Yvonne Rabb

Photo Yvonn Rabb Upscaled

 

Yvonne Rabb's body was found on Nov. 15, 1981, in a ditch near Weld County roads 8 and 11, near Dacono. Yvonne was a sex worker from the Five Points neighborhood in Denver. She was last seen Nov.14, 1981, walking into an alley in the Five Points area, near Big Al's Bar. Yvonne’s death is being investigated as a homicide. She was a mother, and 29-years-old at the time of her death.

 

 

Alex Casimiro Morado (1983W9131)

WCSO urges anyone with information about Alex Casimiro Morado's 1983 murder to come forward 

Alex Casimiro-Morado Website Photo Not Available

On Oct. 23, 1983, Alex Casimiro Morado was hanging out with some people at Bruce's Bar in Severance. After the group left, an argument occurred on Weld County Road 74, five miles east of Eaton. Morado's body was found two days later in an irrigation ditch at Weld County roads 74 and 27, near Severance. He was stabbed to death. Benedicto Samuel Carrion is the primary suspect.

Robert Moody (1984W102302)

1984: Deputies conduct welfare check in LaSalle and find Robert Moody deceased

Robert Moody No Photo Available

 

On Oct. 23, 1984, the Weld County Sheriff’s Office received a call from one of Robert Moody’s family members concerning his welfare. Robert had failed to arrive at his scheduled court date and his attorney wanted the family member to go to Robert’s residence to check if he was there. The family member did not want to enter Robert’s residence without a sheriff's deputy present.

Deputies went to Robert’s residence in LaSalle and met with Robert’s son, and son-in-law. When they went to the door on the west side of the house, they looked through the kitchen window and saw Robert lying on the floor. Deputies forcefully entered the residence and confirmed Robert was dead. Suspects were developed in the case, but there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. 

 

Denise Davenport (1985W420053)

1985: Foul play is suspected in 20-year-old UNC student's death 

Photo of Denise Davenport Upscaled Image

 

Denise Davenport was a student at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She was reported as a missing person to the Greeley Police Department. Denise was last seen on Feb. 24, 1985, when she left work at the Greeley Mall. She was wearing a bright pink two-piece suit, with a white blouse and black pumps.

The car Denise was driving, her boyfriend's blue Mazda RX-7, was discovered a few days later in a student dormitory parking lot. Her body was discovered Apr. 20, 1985, in the South Platte River between 18th Street and U.S. 34, near Greeley. Denise's death is being investigated as a homicide, and foul play is suspected.

Gerald Drieling (1986W827067)

Detectives need help solving decades old cold case homicide of Fort Lupton Farmer 

Photo of Gerald Drieling

On Aug. 27, 1986, Gerald J. Dreiling was discovered dead in his home by one of his family members. He had returned home from a family gathering to change the water in an irrigation ditch, and when he did not return to the gathering after an hour, a family member went to check on him. After finding Gerald face down in his house, the family member called 911, and emergency personnel responded. It appeared to detectives Gerald may have interrupted a burglary at his residence, and he was forced to lie prone in a hallway and was shot. 

 

 

Mario Mendoza (1986W923023)

WCSO detectives baffled by 1986 death of Mario Mendoza

Photo of Mario Mendoza Upscaled Image

Mario Mendoza was last seen on Thursday, Sept. 17, 1986, leaving George's Bar in Brighton, CO in a white over blue car with three Hispanic males at 6:45 pm. 

On Sept. 23, 1986, Mario's body was discovered floating in the Fulton Irrigation Ditch #2 at Weld County roads 4 and 27, near Brighton. Mario had been beaten to death. It is believed he was placed in the ditch in Adams County and floated to the location of his discovery.

During the investigation, it was learned Mario occasionally worked as a laborer at Sakata Farms and supplied marijuana to other laborers residing at the farm's labor camp. This case has baffled WCSO detectives over the years because there is no known motive for Mario’s death, and no new suspects or leads have been developed in this case.

 

 

 

 

Robin Nelson (1988W612046)

WCSO needs answers: Robin Nelson left her son in the care of a friend in Denver and never returned

Photo of Robin Denise Nelson On June 7, 1988, Denver native, Robin Denise Nelson, left her son at a friend's residence. When she didn’t return for him, the friend called the Denver Police Department.

On the afternoon of June 12, 1988, a deceased female body in the advanced stages of decomposition was discovered at WCR 8 and the I-25 West Frontage Road near Dacono. Initially, investigators were unable to identify the remains of the female body.  

On June 14, 1988, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation was able to identify the body found on June 12th as 22-year-old Robin Nelson. An investigation into Robin’s activities prior to her death did not reveal any potential suspects. When Robin was alive, she was an acquaintance of Tammy Lynn Cheeks, who also has an open cold case with the Weld County Sheriff’s Office. Photo of Robin Denise Nelson 2

Although the Weld County Coroner determined Robin died due to a drug overdose, there are suspicious circumstances surrounding her death that need to be answered.

 

 

 

 

 

Tracey Disbrow (Ragains) (1989W709023)

WCSO continues to search for answers in the death of Tracey Disbrow (Ragains)

Photo of Tracey Disbrow (Ragains) Tracey sometimes went by the name Tracey Ragains, but most of her family and friends know her as Tracey Disbrow.

On Jul. 9, 1989, Tracey Disbrow was last seen by her roommates in Colorado Springs. She was reported missing, and on Jul. 12, 1989, her body was found near Weld County Roads 4 and 7 in an irrigation ditch three miles southeast of Erie.

Tracey was 17 years-old at the time of her death, and she was a witness set to testify against defendants in cases involving narcotics, prostitution, and the arson of a Colorado Springs night club.  The El Paso County District Attorney’s Office had developed Tracey as a confidential informant and her information led to charges against multiple suspects. On July 9, 1989, shortly before the trial was set to begin, Tracey was found murdered.  

 

Valerie Meeks (1991W717070)

The Unsolved death of Valerie Meeks remains a mystery

Photo of Valerie Meeks

 

Valerie Meeks was reported as a missing person to the Aurora Police on Jul. 19, 1991. She was last seen alive the afternoon of Jun. 30, 1991.  On Jul. 17, 1991, Valerie’s body was found on Weld County Roads 4 and 5 just outside of Erie. Despite Valerie’s case being featured on local news outlets, it remains unsolved. 

 

 

Tammy Cheeks (1992W1114101)

Help us get answers in the 1992 death of Tammy Cheeks

Photo of Tammy Cheeks

Tammy Cheeks was 24 years-old when here body was found by hunters on Nov. 14, 1992, in a concrete irrigation ditch at Weld County roads 20 and 51 just four miles northeast from Hudson. She used the aliases of Tammy Cloathes, Tammy Mason and Gloria Fowler and was a sex worker in the Denver area. Tammy’s cause and manner of death was never determined.

 

John Doe (1995W03451)

John Doe 1995 On August 12, 1995, the sheriff's office was notified about a skeletonized body that was discovered buried in a shallow clandestine grave at Weld County roads 8 and 31, near Fort Lupton. The skeleton was that of an adult man, with a mixed race of white and Native-American.

The man was fully clothed and had most likely been dead since at least July 1994. His pants were size 29 X 32. His shirt size was 34 X 36. He was right handed.

The unidentified man died of gunshot wounds and/or stab wounds.

Sheryl Parker (1996W2956)

Sheryl Parker Sheryl Parker lived and worked in Larimer County, where she was a payroll employee. Parker’s body was discovered July 26, 1996, in the St. Vrain River.

Parker died from blunt force trauma. She was last seen alive at the Budget Host Motel in Del Camino. Her car was located found in the motel parking lot. Her husband, Glenn Parker, is the primary suspect.

James Vooris (1996W4741)

James Vooris James Vooris was beaten to death on Nov. 21, 1996, in a motel room at the Super 8 Motel in Del Camino, located off of Interstate 25 and Colo. 119. Several leads and potential suspects were developed. The homicide is believed to be drug-related.

Ruben Ortiz-Gutierrez (1998W2111)

WCSO seeks justice for Ruben for over 20 years

Photo of Ruben Ortiz

 

On May 16, 1998, an unidentified male body was found in Weld County, near Weld County Roads 24, and 9.75 miles east of Longmont. Thankfully, in June of 2005, due to the advancement of new fingerprint technology, detectives were able to identify the male as Ruben Ortiz-Gutierrez, a 30-year-old from Denver. Suspects involved in drug trafficking from Mexico were investigated but no probable cause for arrest was established. 

 

Brooklyn V. Digesualdo (2000W338)

Brooklyn was a 22-month-old girl who died Jan. 22, 2000, at her home in Evanston. Her mother’s boyfriend of one year was babysitting Brooklyn when deputies responded to the home on a report of an infant who was not breathing. The boyfriend claimed Brooklyn fell off the bed when he left the room and a short time later he discovered she wasn't breathing. The cause of death was undetermined and foul play is suspected.

SOLVED! Christopher Case Identified as John Doe (2000W692)

WCSO 24-year-old cold case solved! John Doe 2000 is identified

Photo of Christopher Scott Case On Feb. 14, 2000, a man was walking his dog in a field near E. 8th St. and WCR 43 when he came upon human remains. Weld County deputies and investigators responded to the scene and investigated and found no evidence of foul play.

A short time after the male was found, his remains were sent to an anthropologist who determined they were of a white male, aged 35-50 years old, and 5'4" tall. The male’s body weight could not be determined, and it was believed he had a possible tattoo in the center of his back. There was no indication of trauma, and no cause or manner of death could be determined due to the male’s advanced state of decomposition. WCSO investigators named the unidentified male found on Valentine’s Day of 2000, John Doe 2000.

In 2022, forensic genetic genealogy was done with DNA from John Doe 2000’s remains which led to relatives in Nevada, who willingly submitted their DNA to help solve this case.

In December of 2023, Cold Case Detective, Byron Kastilahn got the break he had been waiting for when the results of the genetic genealogy testing returned, and John Doe 2000 was tentatively identified as, Christopher Scott Case. Further genetic testing was carried out to confirm that the remains were indeed those of Christopher Case, and the test results affirmed this.

Before his death, Christopher was living in Rock Springs, Wyoming and was last seen by his half-brother in 1998 in Nevada. 

“This case was as cold as they get. There was no evidence other than the human remains. If not for forensic genetic genealogy, Christopher Case would not have ever been identified. After learning about forensic genetic genealogy in 2020, I wanted to try to get all our unidentified human remains (UHR) cases into that process. So far, we have identified three UHR cases and I hope they can all be identified eventually,” said, Weld County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Detective, Byron Kastilahn.

Regardless of the passage of time, our dedication to resolving all cold cases remains unwavering. In cold cases such as Christopher's, we relentlessly pursue investigative leads, employ forensic tools, and hope that he will be identified, so his story will be told, and his loved ones will find peace in getting the answers they deserve.

 

 

Craig Mayo (2000W5969)

Craig Mayo On Dec. 19, 2000, Craig Mayo was found dead at his home on Weld County Road 18. Foul play is suspected. 

Brighton Baby John Doe (2002W4535)

Baby Blanket Found Baby John Doe was found deceased in September 2002 outside of L&M Auto Repair in Brighton. Employees were just arriving at work that morning when a staff member spotted something under a bush.

The newborn had been wrapped in a blue blanket with the words “Skate Bear” and a corresponding graphic. There were no other clues left at the scene indicating anything about the newborn or the circumstances of his death.

Investigators described the baby as having dark hair. Ancestry was estimated to be potentially white, Latino and/or Italian. The newborn weighed about 7 pounds and was 21 inches long at his time of death.

Pathologists determined the infant had been born healthy between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. the prior evening, but they were unable to definitively establish a cause of death. Investigators pursued all available investigative leads and tips at the time but were unable to identify Baby John Doe and the case went cold.Brighton Baby John Doe

The investigation continues as Othram begins to build a comprehensive genealogical profile for the newborn, which costs $5,000. The Weld County Sheriff’s Office has contributed funds to cover a portion of the costs of DNA testing and genealogical research. A DNASolves.com crowdfunding account has been created to raise funds for the remaining casework costs.

To donate, visit DNASolves.com/articles/weld_baby_doe.

Anyone with information about Baby John Doe is encouraged to contact Cold Case Det. Byron Kastilahn at (970) 356-4015. Reference case number WC02-4535. The case also is logged in NamUs as UP10386. 

Margarette Brown (2003W3274)

WCSO continues to search for leads in the death of Ault woman Margarette Brown

Photo of Margarette Brown On June 1, 2003, from 8:17 p.m. to 8:53 p.m. Margarette Brown made phone calls to her grandfather and a friend. At 9:01 p.m. she called 911. The 911 operator noticed that she sounded intoxicated. Margarette reported that there were two females in her house. She did not identify them, she just said she wanted them gone.

Two WCSO deputies responded, and upon arrival they found the lights on in the house, and the front door open, with the screen door closed. They looked inside the residence, and called out for Margarette, but no one appeared to be home.

On June 04, 2003, Brown’s body was found in an irrigation canal near Weld County Roads 43 and 90. Margarette was a mother of four children and was 40 years-old at the time of her death. Many friends and family members have been interviewed during the investigation, but no leads have been developed.

 

Daniel Larson (2004W188)

Detectives need help in solving 2004 death of Illinois native 

Photo of Daniel Larson Daniel Larson was from Illinois. He had been living in the Loveland area for about five years. Larson was living out of his gray 1990 Pontiac 6000. His family began looking for him in late December 2004 after they lost contact with him. His vehicle was discovered at the Park & Ride at Interstate 25 and U.S. 34. There was evidence of foul play in the vehicle. His body was discovered on Jan. 13, 2004, by hunters in a field north of Kersey. Before his death, Larson told his ex-wife he was meeting with members of the Mexican Mafia.

Adrian Avalos-Tavera (2011W604)

WCSO needs tips in Adrian Avalos Tavera's cold case homicide

Photo of Adria Avalos-Tavera On Feb. 4, 2011, at about 11:19 am Weld County dispatch received a call of a possible dead body, under a bridge in the area of Weld County Roads 53 and 4, near Lochbuie, Colorado. At the scene, investigators discovered a deceased, frozen, body, wrapped in a blanket in a dry irrigation ditch. The victim appeared to have been dumped from the bridge above the ditch. When victim’s body was discovered, the temperature was 36 degrees and temperatures that week were consistently below zero.

An autopsy determined the victim suffered blunt force trauma, and the cause of death was ruled a homicide. Adrian Avalos-Tavera, was later positively identified as the victim through tattoo descriptions, photographs, and fingerprints. Adrian was only 23 years-old at the time of his death, and he was last seen alive in Dec. of 2010.

 

Armando Mata-Magallanes (2011W3391)

Armando Mata

On July 8, 2011, Armando called his roommate and later his girlfriend asking them to sell his truck. An unknown man was holding Armando as ransom. When the man did not get paid, Armando was murdered. His body was found the next day a half a mile east of Interstate 76 at mile marker 27 south of Hudson. 

 

 

Joseph Peters (12W14008)

Joseph was found dead wrapped in a tarp on May 16, 2012, near the Interstate 76 Frontage Road and Weld County Road 12.5. Foul play is suspected. 

Nicole Silvers (14W012265)

SILVERS flyer.png

Nicole was last seen in 2014 in Longmont. She was initially reported as a runaway by her mother. There is no apparent motive for foul play in her disappearance. However, with the amount of time she has been missing, foul play is suspected. There is no suspect information.

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SOLVED! Douglas Wayne Jackson (2018W046816)

Doug Jackson The Weld County Sheriff’s Office is happy to announce this cold case has been solved using advanced forensic techniques!

On December 7, 2018, the Weld County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) was dispatched to an area in unincorporated Weld County, Colorado, west of Ft. Lupton on a report of human remains that were found while a crew was surveying the land. Upon arrival, deputies were led to the remains which consisted of a skull, bones, some clothes, a backpack, and other miscellaneous items. The remains appeared to have been there for a long period of time. The case was turned over to WCSO Investigations to identify the remains. 

On July 23, 2020, a press release was issued including photographs of personal items found with the skeletal remains along with an artistic reconstruction of his face.

On March 26, 2021, the Sheriff’s Office submitted portions of the remains to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). CBI obtained DNA from the remains. The DNA was then sent to Parabon NanoLabs for forensic genetic genealogy.

On November 22, 2022, the Sheriff’s Office received a report from Parabon NanoLabs that identified the remains as possibly being Douglas Wayne Jackson, a missing person from Aurora, Colorado. WCSO Detectives contacted Mr. Jackson’s sister and were able to compare her DNA with his. The results confirmed Mr. Jackson’s identity. This case was initially investigated as a homicide, however once Mr. Jackson was identified the detective was able to conclude the investigation had no evidence of foul play.